By Peter Nolan
Donegal overran Down in a disappointing Junior A opener on Sunday. With the crowd perhaps opting for the sand and surf rather than the charms of Gaelic Park on this first Sunday of summer, it all went downhill quickly for Down after Kevin Colter scored the game’s first point.
That score after 25 seconds provided Down with their only lead of the match. Colm Kenny buried a goal for Donegal on the one-minute mark and midfielder Garreth Kelly struck another one in the twines to get Donegal off to a fantastic start.
Donegal had a very impressive team on display. Fullback Marty Meehan and center back John Mason provided a powerful backbone for the defense. Kelly is a talented midfielder at the junior level and the forwards are a very dangerous sextet. A look at the scores shows great balance with all six starters getting on the score sheet.
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The full forward line is particularly impressive. Colm Kenny registered 2-4 and Sean McFadden had 1-4 in the other corner, but the man who made it all go on Sunday was full forward Paul McBride. McBride was just too much for Down to contain and played a part in countless Donegal scores.
Down never threatened in this match and can only be disappointed as they dropped to 0-3 for 2002. This was Donegal’s best performance of the season and if they can reproduce this form, they’ll be hard stopped.
Man of the Match: Paul McBride.
Donegal: John Clarke, Brian Supple, Marty Meehan, Pauric Rooney, Sean Campbell, John Mason, Willie McBride, Garreth Kelly (1-0), Steve Tonry (0-1), Pat Fallon (0-3), Leslie McGettigan (0-2), Anton Diver (0-1), Colm Kenny (2-4), Paul McBride (0-3), Sean McFadden (1-4). Sub Connie Molloy (0-1).
Down: Gerard O’Hare, Mark Kelly, Kieran Rice, Ryan Mulrooney, Ed Flynn (0-1), Martin McGivern (0-1), Damien Ward, Liam Rooney (0-1), Darragh Doherty (0-2), Kevin Coulter (0-2), Darren Quinn (1-4), Mark Dobbin (1-0), Niall Clerkin (0-1), Kieran Rice, Liam Murray. Subs: Colm McGuiness, Collie Mathers.